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Haswell business laptop introduced by Dell in 2013. This system is notable for being the first Haswell business laptop released. The battery will operate the laptop for 4-7 hours, depending which battery your system is equipped with.

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Is it possible to repair the USB port by the HDMI port (2nd incident)

So my Latitude E6540 has an issue with the USB port on the HDMI side. What happens is if I plug anything into it and touch the connection the wrong way, the device will disconnect and will not work again until it is plugged in again. I've had this happen befire under warranty, so it's not a new defect with this series of machines. The last time it happened Dell replaced the motherboard.

I have confirmed it happens with my printer over USB (HP M401n) and Xbone Wireless receiver. When this happened the first time I tested it with two different devices and determined it was caused by a bad motherboard. I am using the same procedure as I did the first time.

This is the second time it has happened, and now I'm out of warranty. I forgave it the first time thinking it was a DOA board, but 2 failing the same way is a little suspicious and may point to a hardware design flaw.

Is there a way I can fix this permanently or is the defect unrepairable? Seeing as this is the second board with this issue, I believe Dell had a bad run of parts or the boards have a serious design flaw. Obviously I'm hoping it's just a bad part lot but I also can accept it's not a defect that can be corrected to the point it won't come back.

I can already see a new board is just as much as a whole computer, as you can also see here:

  • A complete i7 E6540 can be purchased on eBay for $300-400. This would be in better shape too, most likely.
  • To get the motherboard from a good vendor that will back it, it would cost me $200 for the bare board from PartsPeople.

While I'd LIKE to repair the system with a new motherboard, it doesn't make economic sense. The motherboard is nearly as much as a entire used laptop with the same CPU (4810MQ/IGP+8790M). While a motherboard is hard to justify, I'm hoping the motherboard I currently have can be repaired at the board level.

Are they any known issues with these motherboards? If so, does it impair a long term repair?

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Hi!

I've had a similar problem with a E6420, fortunately it was not the main board, but a secondary one that needed replacement. I know that you have a different model with a different board layout and that yur problem is with the main board, but hopefully this confirms the theory that this problem has been there for some time.

Now about a possible fix: I too tried fixing the thing with some board level repair: I unsoldered the faulty USB port and replaced it, but the new one did not last, then I replaced the board. If you try to do the same, I believe that you will get similar results as me, that's why I recommend replacing the motherboard entirely.

Finally, I still believe that replacing the motherboard is a better option than buying a new laptop. Hear me out on this one: the hardware inside is already 4 years old (not saying that it is slow or anything). You will probably want to buy a new one within the next couple of years, so in the end it is better to save those 1-200$ now towards a new model than shelling them out now.

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As soon as I can purchase a good Zen2 laptop, I'm just going to upgrade the entire laptop if the issue isn't repairable long term. If I can't hold out, then I'll get something with a Zen+ processor if it holds up long enough. The port isn't unusable or permanently unusable; it's just touchy in my case. I don't feel confident using it for firmware flashes but as a general use port it's still usable. Not being able to do a proper repair really sucks.

I also have another problem: Windows 7 is EOL in 2020 so I'd need to upgrade the OS as well. I was never happy with the machine (went through a few) so I won't miss it. I kept it because I was waiting for a good reason to replace it. Once Zen2 is released, I can justify the upgrade.

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@nick Regarding the Windows 7: you can upgrade that at any time, Windows 10 runs well on these machines. As the license is tied to your Microsoft account, the license will be transferred as soon as you set up a new laptop.

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Not the digital licenses. Those are system locked. I don't have a retail W10 license, so I'm probably locked.

I used the Dell SLIC key.

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No no, I mean if you buy a new Windows 10 license and use it to upgrade the system to 10 - like with that fancy Windows Media Creation Tool. They changed the way licensing works - when you activate a Microsoft product the license is automatically tied to that account forever (this only works with Windows 10 and Office 365)

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I don't use the Microsoft account. If that's the case, then it sounds like I need to use the Microsoft account one time to lock it in and then remove it once I've verified it's part of my account.

I like to get a ~1 year lead on EOL dates, so I'm moving to 10 in 2019. That's also good to know in case I get a really good deal on a W7 E6440 that was never upgraded to 10 or I buy a machine with the option to get Ubuntu or FreeDOS to save the licensing money :-).

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